Biography - John Kivitt

JOHN H. KIVITT is a farmer of sterling merit, who is doing his part in sustaining and advancing the great agricultural interests of Johnson County, and has his farm, which is pleasantly located on section 31, Grantsburg Township, under excellent cultivation. He was born in Maury County, Tenn., January 27, 1834, his father, James Kivitt, a farmer, living and dying in that State when our subject was a child. His mother afterward married John H. Reed, and they subsequently migrated to this State in an ox-wagon, in which were all their household goods and possessions. They had but little money when they came to cast in their lot with the pioneers of Johnson County, and first settled on a rented place. In the fall of 1850 they moved to the farm now owned and occupied by our subject, Mr. Reed buying it for $300. It then comprised but seventy-four acres, but forty-six acres were afterward added, and by diligent labor it was well cleared, and suitable buildings were erected, and here the mother and step-father of our subject passed their last days in comfort. Our subject was the only child of his mother's first marriage. By her second union she had six children: Lafayette R., a blacksmith at New Grantsburg; Hixy, who died in Massac County; Sion, a resident of Metropolis; Elvira, wife of Charles Hornes, of Joppa, Massac County; H. C. a resident of Texas; and Josephine, wife of Jerome Sexton, of Massac County.
Our subject was reared on a farm in western Tennessee, where he spent the first fourteen years of his life. He attended school occasionally, but could not go often, as he had to work at farming as soon as large enough to handle farm implements, and it was his strong and willing hands that did much of the clearing of the timber from the land and the tilling of the soil after the family had settled in their new home in this county, when he was fourteen years of age. He continued to assist his step-father in the management of the farm until he was twenty-three. He was then married to Miss Tempa Dunn, daughter of Henry Dunn, from Tennessee, and took his bride to live on the old place, which he bought. He had some of his buildings destroyed by fire, but he is constantly making improvements and replacing the old ones, and has a comfortable, orderly farm, which yields abundant harvests in repayment of his well-directed toil.
Mr. and Mrs. Kivitt enjoy life together in the serene contentment that follows well-doing in every round of duty, and among their blessings are the children born unto them, seven in number, of whom all have been spared to be their stay and comfort except John J., who died in infancy. The others are: Louisa T., wife of M. C. Martin, of Massac County; Ida, at home; Jennie, wife of A. A. Smith, of Massac County; and these three at home, Charles Henry, Nancy F. and Alfa. Mr. Kivitt is a man of intelligence, who fully appreciates the value of a good education, and is doing all he possibly can to give his children good advantages. He is highly thought of by all in his community as a man who is true in all the relations that he sustains toward others, is a kind husband, a devoted father, a good neighbor, and a loyal citizen.

Extracted 16 Apr 2016 from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 144-145

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